00:31
the reason why most spiritual and
00:37
religious traditions recommend that we
00:42
direct our attention either inwards
00:50
towards our in the most being of pure
00:55
awareness or outwards towards the
01:02
ultimate reality of God’s infinite being
01:10
it is because the default position of
01:18
most of our minds is to attend to
01:24
objective experience to be busy with
01:30
objects thoughts feelings sensations
01:33
perceptions it is in response to this
01:42
that the spiritual traditions say direct
01:47
your attention either inwards towards
01:51
awareness or beyond outwards beyond
01:57
objective experience towards God’s
02:00
infinite being the first approach is the
02:08
path of discrimination Shinano yoga the
02:12
second approach the path of bhakti or
02:16
the path of devotion
02:21
in both cases the mind is being
02:27
encouraged to relinquish its the focus
02:30
of its attention from objective
02:34
experience
03:08
in other words objective experience is
03:11
the place where we start it is for the
03:17
same reason that philosophy has been
03:22
philosophers have been engaged for
03:25
centuries in the question how does
03:30
something come from nothing how does
03:39
some thing come from no thing in other
03:48
words the debate or the inquiry starts
03:54
with the presumption of things how do
04:02
some things come from that which is not
04:06
a thing again the investigation begins
04:16
with the presumption of things with
04:19
objective experience
04:28
you
04:40
scientists are engaged in exactly the
04:43
same inquiry
04:50
one of the main unanswered questions in
04:53
science today is the hard problem of
04:57
consciousness how does consciousness
05:02
arise from matter again the presumption
05:09
is matter things objective experience so
05:18
the religious and spiritual traditions
05:20
the philosophers the scientists they all
05:25
start with the same presumption they all
05:32
begin the investigation or the inquiry
05:36
with the presumption of the reality the
05:40
independently existing reality of
05:43
objective experience things matter and
05:48
each of these disciplines the spiritual
05:52
discipline the religious that the
05:55
spiritual discipline the discipline of
06:00
philosophy and of science all begin with
06:06
the presumption of things matter
06:11
objective experience and in each case
06:16
they try to work backwards from
06:21
objective experience things or matter to
06:27
the reality
06:47
in the case of the religious and
06:49
spiritual traditions this beginning with
06:54
objective experience is a legitimate and
06:58
compassionate concession to our minds
07:01
which are almost entirely engaged with
07:06
objective experience so these traditions
07:10
say to the mind just gently walk
07:13
yourself back from your objective
07:15
experience that is your thoughts
07:17
feelings sensations and perceptions to
07:19
that which is aware of them in the case
07:28
of the philosophical and scientific
07:30
traditions this is not a compassionate
07:34
concession they truly believe in the
07:42
independent reality of things or matter
07:47
and it is for this reason that in
07:50
neither of those two disciplines has the
07:52
question ever been answered how does
07:55
something come from nothing or how is
07:58
consciousness
07:58
derived from matter those questions will
08:05
never be answered
08:12
until the presumption of things or
08:15
matter itself is seen to be false
08:30
so instead of starting with what we
08:32
don’t experience that is the
08:39
independently existing objects or things
08:42
why don’t we start with what we do
08:45
experience why don’t we not start with a
08:52
presumption but start with experience
09:01
what is the primary element of
09:04
experience awareness
09:17
instead of arriving at awareness through
09:25
a process that starts with objective
09:28
experience why not simply start as
09:35
awareness it’s the obvious place to
09:42
start because it is the primary element
09:46
of all experience B awareness knowingly
10:49
awareness is the only thing we cannot
10:55
approach or practice will direct our
11:02
attention towards or meditate upon so
11:11
investigate into anything we would
11:18
approach or investigate or direct our
11:20
intention our attention towards or
11:22
investigate into would be some kind of
11:26
object these kind of investigations and
11:32
meditations and approaches are
11:34
legitimate and compassionate concessions
11:37
to the object obsessed mind
11:50
but a time comes when we don’t have to
11:53
work our way back gradually step by step
11:56
from objects to awareness a time comes
12:03
when we realize that we always start as
12:06
awareness we always our awareness we
12:09
never left awareness
12:18
being awareness knowingly is the only
12:24
thing we cannot practice we cannot
12:30
approach approach we cannot investigate
12:34
into we cannot talk about
13:11
see that you have never been anything
13:14
other than awareness
13:33
you
13:37
the only reason we feel we have to
13:39
return to awareness is because we feel
13:45
that we left awareness the one who feels
13:53
that he or she has left awareness is
14:00
like the character in the movie who
14:03
feels that he or she has left the screen
14:08
as a compassionate concession to that
14:13
one the spiritual traditions give that
14:18
one all kind of all kinds of exercises
14:21
and meditations to do knowing full-well
14:28
in the meantime that but that one is not
14:32
even a separate independently existing
14:35
self let alone a self that ever left its
14:42
home of awareness
14:59
start as awareness why simply because it
15:06
is our primary experience
15:20
and then ask yourself the question have
15:23
I ever ceased being awareness have I
15:27
ever become anything other than
15:30
awareness have I ever gone anywhere else
15:35
apart from awareness
15:58
awareness doesn’t have to practice being
16:01
awareness any more than the son has to
16:04
practice illuminating itself only a
16:09
separate self would have to practice
16:12
being awareness but that separate self
16:19
never really comes into existence
16:24
existence ex sister e to stand out from
16:29
no separate self ever stands out from
16:33
awareness and becomes an entity in its
16:38
own right that then has to trace its way
16:42
back to its source as awareness all that
16:51
is an illusion of thinking and feeling
16:54
and all the meditation techniques that
16:58
are prescribed by the spiritual and
17:00
religious traditions are compassionate
17:02
concessions to that illusory self
18:03
the mind does not know reality the
18:11
senses do not perceive reality the mind
18:20
and the senses filter reality
18:30
the mind and the senses that is thought
18:33
and perception filter the absolute
18:38
reality of pure awareness and make it
18:45
appear as a multiplicity and diversity
18:50
of objective experience that is thought
18:57
and perception filter the ultimate
19:01
reality and make it appear to itself as
19:05
the body and the world
19:19
the body as we see it from the outside
19:22
is the image of that filtering process
19:30
it is an image of the activity of
19:33
consciousness through which
19:37
consciousness takes the form of thought
19:39
and perception and appears to itself as
19:44
the world
19:50
but no other substance other than
19:54
awareness itself ever comes into
19:57
existence ever stands out from itself
20:00
and assumes a separate and independently
20:05
existing identity we never leave
20:12
awareness that is awareness never leaves
20:16
itself it never becomes a separate self
20:21
it never ventures away from itself out
20:25
into a world made of space and time and
20:31
matter
21:00
ask yourself the question have I ever
21:04
known or could I ever know anything
21:07
other than the knowing of experience the
21:13
awareness of experience try now to find
21:20
something other than the knowing of
21:22
experience
21:35
you
21:38
it’s not even the knowing of the
21:40
experience we never find the of
21:43
experience we never find something
21:45
separate from knowing when I say we
21:50
never find who is the we that never
21:53
finds anything separate from knowing it
21:56
is knowing itself it is awareness itself
21:59
that never finds anything other than the
22:02
awareness of experience but in fact
22:07
awareness doesn’t know the awareness of
22:09
experience from awarenesses point of
22:13
view it is not one thing and experience
22:16
another it is not a separate subject of
22:20
experience knowing a separate object
22:23
other or world experience is awareness
22:31
experiences the activity of awareness
22:34
the vibration of awareness
22:48
so when I say we never know anything
22:50
other than the knowing of experience the
22:53
we is knowing itself and the experience
22:58
is knowing itself so what I mean is that
23:02
knowing never knows anything other than
23:04
knowing awareness is and knows itself
23:09
alone start with awareness
23:25
you eye we are awareness and awareness
23:31
is without parts without any insight
23:38
without any outside it is indivisible
23:41
indestructible self knowing
23:56
it is not possible to meditate upon
23:58
awareness who would meditate upon
24:03
awareness who would know awareness who
24:05
would be aware of awareness only
24:07
awareness itself awareness doesn’t need
24:12
to do anything to know itself just like
24:16
the Sun doesn’t need to do anything to
24:18
illuminate itself there is no need for
24:22
practice for meditation for effort
24:25
no room for a path there is no distance
24:29
between awareness and itself no time for
24:32
a practice no room for any effort to
24:38
occur
24:50
see that and be free know that you have
24:56
never been anything other than awareness
24:58
you have never known anything other than
25:00
awareness you have never loved anything
25:02
other than awareness you have never been
25:07
anywhere you have never done anything
25:28
the common name for this simple
25:32
recognition is peace or happiness not
25:37
happiness a state of the mind or a
25:39
pleasant sensation in the body happiness
25:43
that is fulfillment the absence of lack
25:47
the sense of completion no experience
25:51
can diminish me no experience can
25:54
aggrandize me I am whole
25:58
I am indivisible all experience is made
26:03
out of myself I need nothing but I’m
26:08
everything
26:50
all our conversations and contemplations
26:55
and meditations are not meant to present
26:58
reality as it is
27:01
they are meant to loosen up the old
27:06
habitual ways of thinking and in
27:10
particular the old ways of feeling the
27:13
old ways of thinking and feeling that I
27:16
am a solid dense located entity made out
27:20
of something called matter inside which
27:29
the mind appears inside which fleeting
27:34
fragile flame of awareness
27:38
intermittently flickers all our
27:43
conversations contemplations and
27:45
meditations are really excavations of
27:48
those old patterns of believing and
27:53
feeling they are not meant to replace
27:55
those old patterns with new models the
27:59
new models are the new models that we
28:03
build art simply thorns that are used to
28:06
remove thorns
28:28
awareness cannot be modeled
29:23
in an absurd convoluted and irrational
29:35
process of pseudo reasoning contemporary
29:43
science and contemporary culture in
29:47
general has denied the reality of
29:53
consciousness or awareness and have
30:00
imagined a substance that it has never
30:02
experienced called matter which it then
30:06
believes to be the ultimate reality of
30:08
all experience and whether we are aware
30:12
of it or not almost all our thoughts and
30:15
feelings are predicated on this belief
30:18
in the ultimate reality of matter and
30:20
our subsequent activities and
30:23
relationships express these beliefs and
30:27
feelings
30:46
in our culture the only thing that is
30:49
absolutely certain about experience
30:54
awareness itself is denied or at best
30:58
relegated and the one thing of which we
31:03
have absolutely no evidence at all
31:06
matter is asserted as the ultimate
31:11
reality and we wonder why we are unhappy
31:19
why people live in loneliness and
31:22
despair why our relationships are full
31:29
of conflict why in spite of all our
31:34
technical ability we still haven’t found
31:38
peace amongst nations
31:49
someone before this morning’s meeting
31:52
Linda gave me this beautiful quote of
31:57
Barack Obama’s from the eulogy he gave a
32:01
couple of days ago for clementa pinckney
32:05
referring to him he said he understood
32:08
the justice grows out of the recognition
32:12
of ourselves in each other my liberty
32:22
depends on you being free too
32:26
he understood the justice grows out of
32:29
the recognition of ourselves in each
32:31
other he understood that true justice
32:49
grows out of the recognition of our
32:52
shared being that there are not a
32:58
multiplicity and diversity of
33:00
awarenesses all our minds are emanations
33:09
from the same single source the same
33:13
shared being of awareness the
33:16
recognition of that is the foundation of
33:22
peace in ourselves peace in our intimate
33:27
relationships peace in our friendships
33:31
peace in our families and communities
33:33
and peace and justice amongst nations
33:51
you
34:20
start with awareness start in awareness
34:26
start as awareness be only awareness
34:37
know only awareness love only awareness
34:53
even to call it awareness is really
34:58
blasphemous because in the absence of
35:03
anything else to contrast awareness with
35:06
the word awareness itself has no meaning
35:24
be know and love only this unnameable
35:29
reality of all experience
35:41
thank you
35:43

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November 10, 2017